Every now and then, you come across a real dud of a book. Even when I know I'm not going to follow a book like that through to its bitter end, I like to stick with it for a while so I know what it is that doesn't work for me. This one (and no, I won't name it, because that's not important) was one of those books that had been heavily promoted because it won a BIG literary prize - heaps of publicity, glowing words, big cheque... you know the deal. Suffice to say, almost every writers' dream.
SB splashed out thirty-odd bucks on this book, but couldn't stand it, so flicked it over to me. I thought it looked okay, but after a few pages was ready to dump it too. Stayed with it to try and find out what the judges saw in it and why I didn't like it - to try and avoid ever doing the same thing. It came down to style, I think. It was so over-stylised (like a badly-written eighties cop show, from SB's and my point of view) that it was painful to read and the characters seemed stillborn. I just couldn't give a stuff about them. As for the story... well, it hadn't engaged me by page 79 so I gave it the flick too.
Win some, lose some.